Is Joakim Soria the Same Pitcher as Last Year?

In a FanShot I stated the Soria was not getting the same amount of break from pitch to pitch. I decided to compare his results so far this year to Spring Training, the WBC and last using Pitch F/X data.


Here are some unrelated points to the on the game on 5/07/09, I found useful/interesting in my work and maybe some else will also:


  1. Soria is not a very consistent pitcher in the amount of break on all of his pitches. I think this is what makes him good. Hitters don't see the same stuff from him twice.

  2. Soria never threw when Pitch F/X system was set up in spring training (4 appearances) or in the WBC (2 appearances) so I can't see if changes happened pre-season..

  3. He rarely uses the slider, curve and change-up compared to the fastball, at times never using one or more of the non-fastball pitches at all.

For the above reasons, I am pretty much only able to look at the average differences in Soria's fastball until he has thrown more non- fastball pitches this season to look at those pitches. With his fastball, there is a major change from this season to previous seasons in that it is breaking ~2 more inches more in the horizontal direction. All of the other factors measured by Pitch F/X remain constant (e.g. speed, release, etc).. Here are his averages for the past 3 seasons:


Season Horizontal Break
2007 -1.0
2008 -1.3
2009 -3.5


As you can see, his fast is just breaking more, which leads us back to yesterday were Soria just seemed frustrated on the mound. His extra 2 inches of break on his fastball was putting his fastball out of the strike zone on few occasions. Here is a graph of his actual fastball and the location of the same fastball in 2 inches less of break:




Although it might just be a strike or two difference during that in inning, it sure would have help with the way his was struggling. I am going to keep an eye on his pitches and will give an update in the future, especially after he has thrown enough non-fastballs to make some kind of good conclusion considering how variable he is with those pitches.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

SB Nation Featured Video
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.